Tuesday, September 8, 2009

How to Build a Custom Closet on an F2F Budget

When we started on our MBR about a month ago my closet (yes I claimed the bedroom closet AGAIN!) looked like this:

Closet Renovation Before Picture

We decided to strip it totally down and start over so we removed the shelf, bar and doors, then sanded and primed it:

Then we painted the interior a neutral color (SW's Linen), this is the neutral color that we're using on the main rooms of our house so I count it as "free" since I used what we already hand!

Next was to sand, prime and paint the trim. We hand sanded the trim with 100grit sandpaper enough to rough it up so paint could stick and to get through the top layer of disgusting oil-based paint. Then I taped the wall above the trim with blue painters tape and used a 2 inch angle brush to prime (one layer) and paint (one layer). I have found that painting trim with long brisk brush strokes results in a much better look (much smoother) than trying to go slow and get straight lines (what I did at first.)

You can see in the last picture I had painted the wall access panel the same color as the wall but I later decided that I liked it better matching the trim so repainted it.

Now it's all painted and ready to be reassembled so you need to decide what you want the setup of your closet to be. We looked at closet systems at Home Depot for inspiration and for the basics it runs anywhere from $70 to $200 for just the starter kit. This is not in our budget so we set out to recreate this and more for less money.

Enter - CRAIGSLIST!! I know, I know...I'm an addict.

Micheal found a shelving and drawer system on CL for $30, so we went and picked it up and started designing around it. I decided that I wanted the system in the middle with a high and low bar on one side for shirts and pants and a high bar on the other for long items such as dresses and skirts. This required us to purchase 3 bars @ $8/piece.

Here is the unit-
How to build a custom closet on a budget

With the drawers and bars this unit would have cost approximately $250 from Home Depot - our budget model, $54!!

Problem #1:
The first of our difficulties in retrofitting this piece of furniture to the existing closet was that it was about 1 inch taller than the existing shelve mount (which we would be reusing.) So our first fix was to put 1x1 wood pieces (leftovers from another project - "free"!) around the shelving mount to try and level it out:

Problem #2:
This made it just a shade too tall...ugh... The only tool we had that we could try to trim the ends was a jigsaw...I don't have any pictures of this because it did not go well...at all...

To try and maintain our sanity and the usability of the closet unit we went to Home Depot to invest in the proper tools (le sigh...so expensive).

Let's just say after the jigsaw debacle one side of the shelf was now a bit short so we used the aforementioned 1x1 pieces of wood (still free!) instead to increase the height of the closet unit. So after some trimming and screwing it was the right height!

Oh yeah...power tools baby - look at that smile!
Power tools!

We were fortunate to have wood mounts already attached to the wall so Micheal was able to drill the high bars directly into the wall, then attached them to the shelving unit by drilling a starter hole and using two bolts to attach the bracket.

The bracket...was a smiley face!

Micheal says "Measure twice, cut/drill once!"
Installing a Custom Closet

After we installed the three bars this was the finished project!!
Custom Closet Shelving System After Picture

I LOVE it!! I stained two pieces of wood with our red stain (again from another project) to use as the shelve above the closet unit. I'll post pics of it once I upload them. I'm so proud of our effort as this was a test of our creativity, frugality and patience but has ended in a successful closet (that will only look this clean once!)

What do you think? Who wants their own custom CL closet?? If you have pictures of your closet that we could post or share for inspiration please send them on over!

1 comment:

MrsG said...

That looks great!! I'm jealous of the CL find! I really wish I would have found something like that four ours, but I guess the shelves DH built will just have to do ;)

Yay for custom closets!!